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Letters to the Editor (Commentaries, Rape on Television, Funerals, Hospitality, etc)

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor continue to roll in. My gratitude goes to each reader who takes the time to write in. Here are a few of the most noteworthy I’ve received recently.

Letters on Logos New Testament Commentary Collection

I recently purchased your NT commentary recommended bundle on Logos, and my, what a deal! I hope you and Logos can partner together on an OT commentary set in the near future. Thanks!

—Matthew D, Arlington, VA

Tim: Yes, it is a great value and I’m glad you found it worthwhile. We hope to do an Old Testament equivalent soon. Stay tuned!

Letters on An Army Without Supplies

As a support worker (recruiter with Wycliffe Bible Translators) seeking to recruit many more support workers for our translation teams, I was so glad and grateful to read this article. I hope it gets lots of “air time”! It also reminded me of how much I appreciate my support network of ministry partners who pray and give so I can serve full time in this role. Thanks for sharing this reflection, Tim.

—Carmen E, Philadelphia, PA

Thank you for encouraging our home staff of a small mission agency here in Kansas City with your recent blog, “An Army Without Supplies.” I am often challenged and/or encouraged by your blogs. This one was an encouragement. After serving cross-culturally in another country, my wife and I have served on our home team for the past 12 years and you are “right on!” We indeed serve together as a team around the world. Thank you for taking time to call attention to this team on the “home front” who supply the things the “front lines” need. They do need the support of the Body of Christ, the Church as much, if not more, than those on the “front lines.”

—Dwight L, Kansas City, MO

Letters on Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

Though I would hardly pass myself off as a theologian, I can’t help but chuckle when I read articles like this. We often are willing to “fall on our swords” defending our favorite theologies instead of taking God’s words at face value. We end up doing a lot of clearing of the throat and hand waving, as if to say, “Move along now. Nothing to see here.”

—Steve R, Hortonville, WI

Letters on Television’s Rape Epidemic

I agree. much too much skin, sexual content and rape or violent scenes in the media. There is a difference though, between a rape story line without much graphics among 6 or 7 seasons like in Downton Abbey and I suppose others (I don’t watch them). Rape happens to unfortunately too many women. It might be necessary to talk about it at some point without making it too graphic or for entertainment, thus kind of promoting it, or too casual, thus making it a part of life to be accepted.

—Liette P, Montreal, Quebec

Tim: Yes, rape is tragically common and, therefore, it makes sense that it appears in the fiction and non-fiction stories we tell and watch. It even makes many appearances in the Bible. But, as you say, the context, purpose, and explicitness makes a great difference. I fear that too much rape on television is added for purposes of entertainment—that it has become a way in which people amuse themselves with what is evil and harmful.

Letters on I Forbid You To Say These Things at my Funeral

Thank you for this letter, Tim. I have been a trauma counselor and an EMT here in Las Vegas over several years, sitting alongside those in tremendous grief in the very moments after losing a loved one. Finding the right words is always challenging, but finding the wrong ones is frustratingly easy. I have heard every one you have listed in your article, and I cringe every time. I don’t know where we’ve come up with these lines, but I hope your article reaches many eyes and we can just accept a funeral for what it is—a time to grieve the loss, hopefully temporarily, of someone dear to us. And yes, also to celebrate their memory. Thank you for pointing out it doesn’t need to be an either/or decision! I hope this brings freedom and comfort to those who will experience a loss in the future.

—Dave M, Las Vegas,

Letters on A Clean House and a Wasted Life

Could not agree more with your take on Christian hospitality. I still remember purchasing our current property about eight years ago; how for months, every step I took on that property brought praise and gratitude from my lips to the Lord. It’s not an estate, but it’s beautiful, people love to visit here, and it provides me myriad opportunities to reflect on nature, stewardship, and what it means to be hospitable.

My wife and I are of the same mind as far as guests to our home: We yearn and encourage “the old days” social behavior where doors, hearths and kitchens are open. It’s a hard paradigm to move many folks through—often it seems they aren’t sure whether we’re serious when we say “Our door is open. Please, just drop by.” Sometimes it winds up that the timing isn’t great, when we have to pause our day or move a to-do onto tomorrow’s list. But the rewards are great, and the refocusing of our hearts and minds other-wards is a gentle and lovely tonic for our self-made chaotic lives. “It’s not ours, it’s His…. the joy is in the sharing.”

—Paul M, Suffolk, VA

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?